Maro Itoje out of November Tests

3:02 PM GMT

England will be without star Maro Itoje for the November Tests after he suffered a fractured hand at the weekend.

Itoje requires surgery and will be out for six weeks meaning he will be forced to sit out England’s four end-of-year internationals.

Mark McCall, Saracens director of rugby, said: “For any team to lose a player of the ability of Maro is a blow and he will be missed through the autumn for both Saracens and England.

“What’s now important for Maro is his recovery and we look forward to his return later this season.”

The news will come as a huge blow both for England and Saracens. George Kruis was previously ruled out of the end-of-year internationals with due to ankle surgery and he is now joined on the sidelines by his club and country teammate Itoje, who picked up the injury in Saracens’ win over Scarlets on Saturday.

England are now without their first-choice second-row partnership for the forthcoming Tests and Itoje’s injury disrupts their potential contingency plans in the back-row. With James Haskell, Sam Jones and Mike Williams all sidelined, Itoje was being considered as an option at openside but those plans are now on hold.

Eddie Jones will now have to consider a new-look lock partnership for the internationals and weigh up further contenders for the openside berth.

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